In this historical study, Mauro analyzes the visual imagery produced at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School as a specific instance of the aesthetics of Americanization at work. His work combines a consideration of cultural contexts and themes specific to the United States of the time and critical theory to flesh out innovative historical readings of the photographic materials.
A Special Issue on New World Slavery
|Representations 113 from University of California Press—A Special Issue: New World Slavery and the Matter of the Visual, edited by Huey Copeland, Krista Thompson, and Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby.This special issue features essays on the ongoing effects of racial bondage as seen through art and the visual archive—Including 16 color reproductions.
Representations 113: New World Slavery and the Matter of the Visual makes an eloquent case for the critical importance of visual representation to the rewriting of slavery’s imaginary.
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Of particular interest to art historians:
Part IV: Paths of Representations
Chapter 10: Hidden Beneath the Surface: Atlantic Slavery in Winslow
Homer’s “Gulf Stream”
Peter H. Wood
Chapter 11: Slaves’ Supplicant & Slaves’ Triumphant: The Middle Passage of
an Abolitionist Icon
Jeffrey R. Kerr-Ritchie
Chapter 12: Picturing Homes and Border Crossings: The Slavery Trope in
Films of the Black Atlantic
Awam Amkpa and Gunja SenGupta
Based on innovative and extensive research, this edited volume examines the complex and unique human, cultural, and religious exchanges that resulted from the enslavement and the trade of Africans in the North and the South Atlantic regions during the era of the transatlantic slave trade. The book shows the connections between multiple Atlantic worlds that contain unique and diverse characteristics. The Atlantic slave trade disrupted African societies, families, and kin groups. Along the paths of the slave trade, men, women and children were imprisoned, separated, raped, and killed by war, famine and disease. The authors investigate some of the different pathways, whether physical and geographical or intellectual and metaphorical, that arose over the centuries in different parts of the Atlantic world in response to the slave trade and slavery. Highlighting unique and similar aspects, this groundbreaking book follows the trajectories of individuals, groups, and images, rethinking their relations with the local, and the Atlantic contexts.
The Spring 2011 issue of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Research and Scholars Center Newsletter is now online:
This “special” issue features three women artists: Theresa Bernstein, Selma Burke, and Edmonia Lewis. Included is a selected bibliography of publications highlighting African American women artists. Key archival information about Burke is included, plus the discovery of a photograph of a lost work by Lewis.
A long-overdue shift is happening in how contemporary African art – from Dakar and Lagos to Cape Town, Harare and Rabat – is disseminated and discussed.
This piece was published in the May issue of frieze Magazine and can be found online at:
Much of what we know of art – how it is taught, exhibited and presented, whether in London or Lagos or Lahore – was first defined by Western critics. When Pablo Picasso drew inspiration from Bambara and Gabon masks after a visit to the Musée d’Ethnographie du Trocadéro in Paris in 1906, it was the West that decided that his works were ‘Modernist’ and that the masks were ‘primitive’. In 1953, Chris Marker and Alain Resnais made their first film, Les statues meurent aussi (Statues Also Die), which dealt with African art. In 2005, I was asked to do a new translation of the film from French into English as Marker was unhappy with the one that existed. In the film the directors talk of the ‘botany of death’ that happened when sculptures were taken from their natural settings in Africa to the museum cabinets of the West. The study of African art is not just a study of lines and forms, but also of the histories of silence.
Martin A. Berger, “Seeing through Race: A Reinterpretation of Civil Rights Photography” (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011)
Seeing through Race is a boldly original reinterpretation of the iconic photographs of the black civil rights struggle. Martin A. Berger’s provocative and groundbreaking study shows how the very pictures credited with arousing white sympathy, and thereby paving the way for civil rights legislation, actually limited the scope of racial reform in the 1960s. Berger analyzes many of these famous images—dogs and fire hoses turned against peaceful black marchers in Birmingham, tear gas and clubs wielded against voting-rights marchers in Selma—and argues that because white sympathy was dependent on photographs of powerless blacks, these unforgettable pictures undermined efforts to enact—or even imagine—reforms that threatened to upend the racial balance of power
“Doctored: The Medicine of Photography in Nineteenth-Century America,” by Tanya Sheenan was released last week from Penn State University Press.
In Doctored, Tanya Sheehan takes a new look at the relationship between
photography and medicine in American culture, from the nineteenth century
to the present. Sheehan focuses on Civil War and postbellum Philadelphia,
exploring the ways in which medical models and metaphors helped strengthen
the professional legitimacy of the city’s commercial photographic
community at a time when it was not well established. By reading the trade
literature and material practices of portrait photography and medicine in
relation to one another, she shows how their interaction defined the space
of the urban portrait studio as well as the physical and social effects of
studio operations. Integrating the methods of social art history, science
studies, and media studies, Doctored reveals important connections between
the professionalization of American photographers and the construction of
photography’s cultural identity.
In celebration of Black History Month, Southern Cultures permanently has
dedicated a new section of our website to all of our essays and features
from the last decade on AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE. This material
includes interviews with many famous figures (and lesser known ones, too),
as well as material which explores many aspects of the experiences of
African Americans inside and outside the South. In addition, we’ve also
been presenting featured content on our homepage to commemorate African
American history: an essay from Timothy B. Tyson, author of Blood Done Sign
My Name, who reveals why Martin Luther King’s message endures and what he
means to the South and the nation.
To date, over 65,000 readers have viewed our material online. To read our
new section on AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE, please visit: